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CNN "Erin Burnett Outfront" - Transcript - Boston Marathon Attack

Interview

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BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

BURNETT: I mean, that is -- that is a question mark, I know, Drew, some have said, well does that mean that they're -- they have information that they're not yet ready to share, does it mean they haven't yet tied together strings they want to tie together? But those are the question marks out there.

I want to bring in Congressman Mike McCaul. He's the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and get answers to the questions Drew just posed right away.

Chairman, do you know why this press conference has been delayed and delayed and delayed?

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R), TEXAS: You know, I don't. And as I have been saying for a long time, this surveillance video now we know from Lord & Taylor, and private videos, it's going to be one of the keys to this case. In addition to the forensics on the bomb itself, which is being evaluated at Quantico as we speak. And we hope that those results will come out shortly.

But as for the delay of the press conference, I don't know. I did come out earlier when there were reports of a suspect in custody confirming that that was not true.

BURNETT: Confirming that was not true. And what is it that your latest understanding on that as you and I have spoken over the past few days you said, look, the first 48 hours are the most crucial. And here we are now. But do you feel that they have made, as they say, significant progress?

MCCAUL: You know, I think they have. The first 24 hours in a murder case is key. You don't want the trail to get too cold and too scale.

On the other hand, they're going to have the best evidence right now in my judgment. Are these videos that were taken from security cameras outside Lord and Taylor, that the FBI is poring through, my guess is they have possible suspects they have seen on this videotape that they're looking at and at some point in time will come back to the public to help their cooperation to track them down. That, coupled with the device itself and the forensics, the FBI, what the FBI does best is its forensics of bombing devices. They're very, very good at tracers, fingerprints, footprints on these devices to find out where it was purchased and who purchased the materials. So, from there, they would execute search warrants and hopefully find the terrorists.

BURNETT: And, Chairman, let me just interrupt here, we do have some breaking news.

There has been an arrest, sir, you probably are aware of, in Mississippi. There's been an arrest in the ricin case according to two federal law enforcement officials here at CNN. The arrest happened in the Tupelo, Mississippi, area. Of course, one of those letters, as we all know, was sent to Senator Wicker of Mississippi.

Can you tell us any more about this?

MCCAUL: Yes, I knew they had a suspect in this case, and I'm glad to see they have been able to apprehend and arrest this individual. And I would again make the assertion that it really has no relation to the Boston bombings, it's very reminisce end of the anthrax attacks after 9/11 on Capitol Hill. As it may, it's very dangerous when you have someone sending, you know, ricin to senator offices.

You know, the state of security on Capitol Hill is at all time high right now to protect members of Congress. We're very concerned about these packages. The good thing is, after 9/11, we implemented a procedure where they go through an outside mail facility. So, once they're detected there, they get nowhere close to the members of Congress, and that's a good thing.

BURNETT: Let me ask you another question about the situation in Boston. Just in terms of whether the suspects, the people that they talking, looking at right now in some of those photos, can you tell me whether they're confident, whether you're confident from your briefings that that person or those people are still in the area, are still nearby, or do they think they could have fled the country or gone far away?

MCCAUL: You know, I honestly can't answer that question. I think that's one of the biggest issues with this case, is that when every stay passes -- you know, remember the Saudi suspect kind of washed out?

So the perpetrators are still out there, and every day that passes, the case becomes a little bit colder and more difficult to piece together. But I'll remind your viewers, though, the '93 World Trade Center bombing case was masterfully put together by the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office where they pieced together this forensics from the bombing device at the World Trade Center and were able to attribute that back to the terrorists, that being Ramzi Yousef and the blind sheikh that perpetrated that.

So, I'm hopeful that will happen in this case. I do think there's general sense of more optimism, though, within the FBI and the Justice Department, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Boston that they're getting closer.

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